Letters to the Editor

From the week of October 30, 2003

Wait, lemme guess: You are into the DJ/club scene, where it's so cutting-edge and hip. No one in the clubs is on drugs, trust funds or is anything at all like hippies. No. No way. That music isn't boring or seriously drug-enhanced -- but I'm sure when you're touting the next crop of record-spinners in town, you will mention all of the ecstasy-fueled morons who are going to see some dick from the U.K. blend records. You will, right? Or how about the next big indie or punk show at the Ogden? You will spend several paragraphs ripping on the trucker-hat-wearing fools dripped in irony with their Punky Brewster shirts and wallet chains. Those disgusting people have to make you angry, too, with all of their posturing amidst their incessant beer-swilling and dissecting of the new Strokes album. Don't forget to point out those silly bastards. A music critic must rise above the masses to his/her place at the top of Objective Journalist Mountain, right?

Thanks again for reaffirming stereotypes, keeping the status quo for "music critics" and utterly failing to criticize music.

Kevin Ringgenberg
via the Internet

Shall we dance? Dave Herrera, I'm a Deadhead, but I have a sense of humor, and I have to admit that Beatdown was funny. The part about waking up in your own drool was great!

Have you seen Warren Haynes live in any of his incarnations (solo, Gov't Mule, Allman Brothers, Phil Lesh & Friends)? If not, you'd better check him out before giving up on jam bands. I haven't seen anyone with soul like his since I last saw Jerry. He is playing with both Govt Mule and PL&F on November 14-16 at the Fillmore; my wife and I are traveling out from Utah for the shows.

You have to go live, though. For the most part, CDs don't do it -- although Warren's version of Elton John's "Indian Sunset" on a recent CD is unbelievable. To really appreciate jam bands, you have to like to dance or like to do drugs, or both. I like to dance, since my drugging days are long gone.

Paul Fisher
Pleasant Grove, Utah

Dirty Dishes

Superzero: I have been reading Jason Sheehan's column for the past year now, and though I walk to the box each week with high hopes, I'm generally disappointed.

I've become increasingly aware of Sheehan's complete disregard for the restaurant community in Colorado. We are all aware that on our last day of work, whether in an office or on a bus route, we tend to stop and smell the roses, as it were, a bit more than most other days. Instead of talking about Duy Pham's last evening at Luna Hotel as one of a stand-up guy who stayed on even after his general manager walked out and he was told his crew was being fired, Sheehan practically ruins him in this town by making him sound like an irresponsible drunk.

With a more recent review of Mel's Restaurant and Bar ("Hum Enchanted Evening," October 9), which we all know is a place that had its day but is a bit dusty, I felt as though I were reading straight from Kitchen Confidential when Sheehan chose to describe the mood at a time before backups are stowed in the kitchen coolers.

I think many of Westword's longtime readers look to Cafe each week for a review that is passionate about the reviewer's experience with the atmosphere and the cuisine -- and less concerned about turning the review into a superhero adventure in which everyone is villain or comrade and it rains kisses or cancer.

Rob Esposito

Fowl bawl: It may make Jason Sheehan feel better about eating foie gras to think that "God put the critters on the planet specifically to act as little foie gras factories," but that isn't much consolation to the birds ("So Foie, So Good," October 16).

Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese huge amounts of food to grotesquely enlarge their livers. Workers shove pipes down the birds' throats and shoot six to seven pounds of a corn mixture into their stomachs every day. Some of the birds' stomachs literally explode.

A PETA investigator witnessed ducks on a foie gras farm having their necks damaged and even ripped open by feeding pipes. Water poured out of a hole in one bird's neck when he tried to drink. Some birds were so debilitated that they were unable to walk and could only push themselves around with their wings. Said one wildlife pathologist who examined birds from the facility, "If this kind of thing was happening to dogs, it would be stopped immediately."

Foie gras is sick. It even has a diagnosis: hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease. It is an indelicate "delicacy" that no one should touch with a ten-foot feeding tube.

Alisa Mullins, staff writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Watching the waste line: I appreciated Jason Sheehan's moralizing about the food chain and our need to be more thoughtful about how our meat ends up on the table. I agree that we live in a time of great abundance, but that seems to generate an equal amount of waste. And when I think of the enormous amount of perfectly edible food that is disposed of every day from hotels, convention centers, restaurants, hospitals, grocery stores and homes, it does make me wonder. While some of the above do make a non-publicized humanitarian effort to recycle food (usually through a non-profit third party that collects food for the homeless shelters so that the establishment does not create a breadline out the back door), too much ends up in the landfill.

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